The response of a shell conveying fluid to harmonic excitation, in the spectral neighbourhood of one of the lowest natural frequencies, is investigated for different flow velocities. Nonlinearities due to moderately large amplitude shell motion are considered by using the nonlinear Donnell shallow shell theory. Linear potential flow theory is applied to describe the fluid-structure interaction by using the model proposed by Païdoussis and Denise. For different amplitude and frequency of the excitation and for different flow velocities, the following are investigated numerically: (i) periodic response of the system; (ii) unsteady and stochastic motion; (iii) loss of stability by jumps to bifurcated branches. The effect of the flow velocity on the nonlinear periodic response of the system has also been investigated. Poincaré maps and bifurcation diagrams are used to study the unsteady and stochastic dynamics of the system. Amplitude-modulated motions, multi-periodic solutions, chaotic responses and the so-called “blue sky catastrophe” phenomenon have been observed for different values of the system parameters; the latter two have been predicted here probably for the first time for the dynamics of circular cylindrical shells.

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